When I receive an email on my personal email, I respond as soon as I read it (which again maybe every couple of weeks). Over the years, former Councilmember Les Robbins has emailed me on my yahoo account -- but has also contacted my council office directly when he wants to report a problem in his neighborhood. So I was shocked when I received a scathing email from him yesterday blasting me for not answering his questions about police staffing.
Well, as it turns out, he had not contacted my council office on this issue, nor sent me an inquiry on my council email. He sent me an email on October 21 on my yahoo account -- which I had not read because I had not reviewed yahoo in a while. Now he informs me that because I didn't answer his yahoo email I am "not going to like the column I am writing" in the Beachcomber. The following is his October 21 email:
Sent: 10/21/2012 3:57:09 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: (no subject)Councilwoman, I have a couple of questions re: the police department that I need answered before I finish an article for the Beachcomber. You should know the answer to these questions so I am going to ask you.1. How has the staffing level reductions on the police department affected their calls for service policy within the patrol division?2. How has closing the substations to walk-in activity from the public for the purpose making a police report impacted that issue?3. In the event that we no longer dispatch a black and white to certain calls for service such as auto burglaries, vehicle thefts, thefts from vehicles, residential burglaries, petty thefts from property, etc. how do we document those crimes?My wife was the victim of a vehicle burglary in Cypress last week and when she called 9-11 out there they sent a patrol officer to her location, where he took a 459 PC report, and then handed her some very valuable and pertinent information regarding how to report her stolen credit cards, I.D. check book, purse, etc. etc. etc.4. I have witnessed a couple of multi vehicle traffic accidents in the 5th district in the past 4 days, one this morning at Wardlow and Palo Verde. The one that I saw on Friday was at Willow and Palo Verde. At both of those traffic accidents I saw a multitude of black and white present, with at least 5 at the Willow and Palo Verde accident. The accident this morning at Wardlow and Palo Verde also had at least three fire apparatus present with two engines and one paramedic squad....lots of black and whites, at least 4, but I drove by too quickly to be sure....I am just curious how we can have that many black and white present to traffic collisions. Hopefully we have so many out here now that we can have a respectable calls for service policy within the patrol divisions.Please let me know the answers to my questions as soon as possible.Respectfully,Les Robbins
Now, Les knows better. He was a councilmember and he knows that if a constituent asks a question about a city department that the answer is official. So he should have contacted me through official channels and I would have answered him as soon as I got a response from the Chief of Police. He also knows as a former law enforcement member that it would take me more than an email to get the responses he is asking since I would have to go to the Chief of Police to get the answers on documentation and dispatching.
I actually had been working on a council agenda item that requests a report on police response time to all levels of calls. Because we only have two council meetings in November, the agenda item will appear in December. I am also asking for a public discussion of fire department response times.
So playing gottcha with this issue doesn't help anyone. Just come out and say it, Les -- you don't want an answer-- you want the LA County Sheriffs back in Long Beach.